Film / TVRace

Wanda Sykes is ‘Roseanne’ head writer, does that mean there’s hope or should we be appalled?

April 3, 2018
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So, Wanda Sykes is the head writer on that godforsaken ‘Rosanne’ reboot starring real life Trumper and right-wing conspiracy theorist, Rosanne Barr. A show eagerly hoping to re-frame the lunacy of Trump supporters as normal and rational, regardless of the hatred spewed by their leader. Look! They’ve even got a black granddaughter! Now, the existence of the show itself isn’t exactly surprising and we know white-owned media is quick to obsess over this particular display and support of white supremacy, I kinda can’t wrap my mind around the fact that Wanda Sykes is a head writer on the reboot.
Will Sykes use her position to show how misguided and racist Trump voters are? Because right now the show seems to normalize the whole situation, in spite of including a (token) Black character, a gender fluid character, etc.

Now, we talk about inclusion and representation all the time, so it is nice to see a black woman getting to do her thing. But what happens when that ‘thing’ is a tool used to normalize blatant racism, violence against women, and the oppression of LGBTQ+ people—groups of which Sykes and family belong to.

If Trumpism is a new phenomenon, and Rosanne is a reboot of something old turned new again, what is harmful about indulging in or even working on the show? As Roxane Gay pointed out, the Rosanne reboot does alight with the Conner’s blue-collar rough-around-the-edges charm, but it brings out the worst versions of those things.

“Where once she was edgy and provocative, she is now absurd and offensive. Her views are muddled and incoherent. She is more invested in banal and shallow provocation than engaging with sociopolitical issues in a thoughtful manner. No amount of mental gymnastics can make what Roseanne Barr has said and done in recent years palatable.”

Good for Wanda?